Monday, 28 April 2008

Nations should take advantage of demographic dividends

There is an expected increase in the population of young people globally, with many nations having a significantly higher number of people of the working age who would be mainly young people. With this in view, researchers are urging countries to strategize to use the demographic dividends that would accrue to their country.

This information was presented by Professor Amy Tsui of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at a Pre-conference training for journalists attending the ‘Youth Deliver the Future Conference’. The Pre-conference training was organized by Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

According to her, African countries should try harder to ensure the judicious use of public resources to cater for the health of the people, especially youths and young people, who would make up the country’s workforce. Though every country has competing needs if adequate resources are put in place now, some of the health, education and poverty problems being encountered now due to the present demography of the nation would be alleviated.

To ensure that upcoming African economies reap the demographic dividend of their youthful generation, these strategies were advocated: increasing female enrollments and labour force participation, introducing changes in technology and institutions to raise agricultural productivity while increasing land conservation, developing and implementing a more effective family planning policy.

By Nnenna Ike

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